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Star Wars

March 30, 2022 - 7:25pm

Don Burns did something recently he probably never imagined when he graduated from Batavia High School in 1992 -- dress up as Darth Vader and recite one of Shakespeare's famous monologues in the Richmond Mausoleum. 

Burns, now a teacher in Rochester, was both Darth Vader and executive producer of a Star Wars fan film, Tomorrow & Tomorrow.

The production was a project of 501st Legion's Garrison Excelsior, a worldwide not-for-profit costuming group that raises awareness and money for charities while spreading its members' love for Star Wars.

So far, the film has raised $1,200 for Make-A-Wish.

Burns and another Garrison conceived of the film.

"While researching for upcoming lessons, I happened upon a short film about a Stormtrooper reciting Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech," Burns said. "As an English teacher, and Darth Vader, I've mused with Vader as the title character in Macbeth and was disappointed that I was beaten to the punch. My friend, who is a mask-maker by profession, encouraged me  to look further into it and together we mapped out a way to get it done."

Half the movie was shot at Rochester's Sunken Garden and half at the mausoleum in Batavia.

The film was directed by Joseph Palluconi. The editor was Mark Lukenbill

"When all was said and done, it turned out better than I ever had a right to imagine," Burns said.

Here's a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the film.

October 21, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Halloween, GCC, Star Wars, trick-or-treat.

Press release:

Ready to get a head start on your trick-or-treating this year? Can't wait to show off your costume? Join 90.7FM (WGCC) on Sunday, Oct. 25, at Genesee Community College for Batavia's best family Halloween event, the fourth annual Play, Eat and Trick-or-Treat! The fun begins at 10 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m. in the GCC Forum.

New this year, youngsters will have a chance to meet and have their photo taken with their favorite Star Wars characters! The event will also feature bounce houses, face painting, movies on the big screen, games, snacks and more! Pizza and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission is $3 per trick-or-treater and adults and infants are admitted FREE.

A number of big baskets will be raffled off throughout the day. Try your luck at a chance to win one of a number of big prizes featuring items such as an autographed Buffalo Sabres jersey, tickets to the Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets game on Jan. 3, gift certificates and more!

Developed by 90.7FM (WGCC), Play, Eat and Trick-or-Treat serves as the station's largest fundraiser and money raised helps send students to the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Conference in New York City. It also supports the cost of new equipment and new programming opportunities.

"It's a really fun event and supports a great cause," Valerie Bello, 90.7FM faculty advisor, said. "Each year we look forward to reaching out to the community we serve. We can't wait for another fun and successful day of doing just that!" she said.

90.7FM is a not for profit, non-commercial radio station run by the students, faculty and staff of Genesee Community College. On the air since 1985, the station is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year and has become a well-loved part of the Batavia and GCC alumni community.

Hi-Temp Fabrication is sponsoring this year's event, with other sponsors including Buffalo's Albright Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center and Pearl Street Grill and Brewery.

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